Q&A with your SGA President: Azell Francis

Macy Holloway

“Student Government Association is not like the politics that you see on TV, it’s really all about the students. We want to be the best voice possible. We’re here to listen to your concerns, and we’re here to assist you in any way possible, so we really want you to know that you can come to our office and talk to us. Let us know if you see something on campus that you feel needs to be fixed. We want to hear about any little thing that we can help with to make our great university even greater. Anything at all you need, we’re here for you.”

G-A: Why did you decide to join SGA?

AF: Well I am now in graduate school so this is my sixth year here at Georgia Southern. I feel like this university has just given so much to me, and I really wanted an opportunity to serve in a capacity that is bigger than myself. I wanted to be able to spread the word about Georgia Southern and let others know that here at GSU we have the best students ever, and I wanted to be able to be a great representative for those students. I’d like to work hard, make a big change, and really make an impact on the lives of other people; it’s really just all about service.

G-A: Why should students care about SGA?

AF: Well firstly, SGA is the official voice of students. Whenever administration, faculty or staff needs to figure out what exactly the students are focused on and how they can better serve students, SGA is that body of students they will come to first. They should care because we’re the ones representing them! The awesome thing about SGA is that you do have the opportunity to speak on behalf of 20,000.

G-A: How do you want the students to feel about SGA?

AF: I want students to be passionate, and I want them to be actively involved in all aspects of our college experience here. I think it’s really important for us as a student body to recognize that this is our university. We really need to take an active role in that and voice our opinions through productive means, such as SGA, so I want students to be excited. I don’t want them to feel like we’re boring or irrelevant, I want them to start thinking about the fact that we’re students just like you. We go to class, we sit next to you on the bus and even in your dining halls. So the cool part is that we understand how students feel because we’re students too. I really want students to start getting excited about our services and all that we provide.

G-A: What are some of the services SGA provides?

AF: People use all of our services and don’t even really think about it. The activity budget committee, for example, is one of the boards that SGA sits on to determine where all of the student activity fees will be allocated. We also sit on the tech fee committee. We are the representative student voice in every area when these decisions are being made. We also provide the service GSU Ride (Shuttle Gus), every Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.; that’s SGA ran with the help of any other interested organizations and it’s free. We also provide individual funding. Like say you want to go to a conference but it’s going to cost $300, SGA can provide you with that funding. We just want to make students aware of all that SGA does, we’re ready to hit the ground running this year.

G-A: Do you have any big events coming up that you’d like the student body to know about?

AF: We actually have The State of the University event coming up in September, and what it is, is an opportunity for students to hear directly from the administration. SGA is putting it on but we will no longer be that in between link. The students will be able to ask them questions directly. Even Dr. Keel and members of his cabinet will be present and speaking as well as accepting questions, so all students are urged to attend and participate. There will be proof of attendance as well. It will be held on September 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Russell Union Ballroom.